Displaying 1-11 of 11 key documents
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
This online book, published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, explores Africa's potential for intensifying agricultural production through ecological agriculture — the integration of traditional, conservation oriented farming techniques with modern science and technology.
Building on discussions from the Conference on Ecological Agriculture, held in Ethiopia in 2008, it outlines past experiences such as lessons learned from the Green Revolution in Asia; trends in African agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development; and climate change implications for agriculture.
The book concludes that ecological agriculture can benefit smallholder farmers in several ways such as helping to increase Africa's productivity, and therefore improving food security, and helping farmers adapt to climate change by making agro-ecosystems more resilient to stress. But scaling up ecological agriculture will require policy support as well as additional resources and information.
Source: UN Environment Programme
This report advocates for the conservation and sustainable management of world's forests by highlighting the ways in which these support ecological stability, economic development and human well-being.
The authors present case studies from the Amazon, Central America and South-East Asia to discuss issues such as livelihoods, biofuel and indigenous people. An overview of the legal mechanisms to protect forests is also given.
Source: UN Millennium Ecosystems Assessment (2005) | 2004
Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems faster and more extensively than in any period in human history. That is one of four main conclusions to emerge from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a comprehensive review of the impact of human activities on the state of the world’s biodiversity.
Changes to ecosystems are due largely to rapidly growing demands for food, freshwater, timber, fibre, and fuel, the report says. The result has been a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth, it adds.
The other main conclusions to emerge from the report are:
Conservation groups in developed countries have embarked on an initiative aimed at improving how biodiversity issues are communicated to the wider public in both developed and developing countries.
The initiative is aimed both at making it easier for people to grasp what are often complex issues in conservation, but at the same time helping them to understand that an improvement in the rate of loss of species depends to a large extent on ordinary people adopting a more biodiversity-friendly lifestyle.
A consultation is underway, coordinated by Joy Hyvarinen of the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Will Rogowski of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK.
Assuring Biodiversity: a brand-building approach, was commissioned for the initiative and published in May 2004. The author Tim Kitchin of the marketing and public relations consultancy Glasshouse Partnership, argues that “existing efforts to conserve biodiversity are hampered by a fragmented and confused communication”. He says that conservation groups need to treat biodiversity as a ‘brand’ and that “if biodiversity was better understood, it would be better protected”.
Source: UN Millennium Project | April 2003
The UN Millennium Project was established by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to recommend ways of achieving the Millennium Developemnt Goals - reducing the number of people living in poverty before 2015. The project is divided into 10 task forces. Task force 6 is responsible for environmental sustainability, which includes biodiversity conservation.
This report serves as the task force's official background document. It explores a number of key issues including: why biodiversity and ecosystem services matter; what are the key areas of environmental degradation; what are the causes; why are current conservation efforts not working; what might be the elements of a framework for action; and what is the economic value of biodiversity.
An interim report will be published towards the end of 2003.
Source: World Conservation Union (IUCN) | August 2003
Conservation organisations are lobbying hard for a new international law on protected areas. Parks Canada commissioned the World Conservation Union to write this set of papers exploring the scope of such a law. The papers look at different possible legal arrangements for protected areas as well as who might provide funding. The papers will be discussed at the forthcoming World Parks Congress in Durban in September 2003.
Source: Centre for Science and Environment | 2001
Compiled from the archive of India's fornightly Down to Earth magazine, Global Environmental Negotiations is an impressive two-volume book that provides comprehensive information on the history and prospects of all UN multilateral environmental agreements, including the conventions on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.
The volumes are particularly valuable in that Down to Earth is perhaps the only southern-based periodical that has been closely following global environmental issues for well over a decade; they are intended as aids to negotiators and civil society across the world.
Source: Ashgate Publishing | 2002
Published on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the biodiversity convention in 2002, Governing Global Biodiversity is a compilation of researched essays on the history and evolution of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and is aimed a decision-makers.
Desiree McGraw's chapter on how the Convention came to be agreed is full of insights and perhaps among the best available on this subject. Equally impressive is Catherine Potvin's essay that compares indigenous peoples' views on the value of biodiversity with those of the scientific community.
[Ashgate Publishing, US$80]
Source: Friends of the Earth International | 2002
Friends of the Earth International has Twenty-two brief case studies on the impact of corporate activity on biodiversity around the globe. Most of the examples focus on what happens when governments and businesses plan large development projects which take away the livelihoods of poor rural communities. These are often livelihoods which depend to a large extent on the surrounding biodiversity.
Examples include communities on Papua New Guinea’s Fly and Ok Tedi rivers who are losing their staple food, the sago palm, because of pollution from a nearby mine; or the The Ogoni people of the Niger Delta who can no longer safely eat their staples of periwinkles, oysters and crabs because of repeated oil spills in nearby mangrove forests.
Most of the examples focus on what happens when governments and businesses plan large development projects which take away the livelihoods of poor rural communities. These are often livelihoods which depend to a large extent on the surrounding biodiversity.
Source: World Resources Institute
This is a concise summary from the World Resources Institute of relevant articles in the Kyoto Protocol on climate change that highlight the relationship between biodiversity and climate change. The Kyoto Protocol formally recognises the dual nature of forests - they are both part of the problem and part of the solution to climate change.
The article says that forest conversion has contributed an estimated 30 per cent of the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, and future projections show large emissions from deforestation. However, protecting, restoring, and improving the management of forests can help slow climate change.
Source: World Conservation Union | 2002
The world-famous annual Red List of Threatened Species compiled by the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union is now into its fifth decade. The list highlights species at risk of global extinction. It is based on the collective data-gathering of thousands of scientists.
The website contains a database that can be searched by country or by taxonomic group. For first-time users, the FAQ and Summary Statistics sections are a good place to begin. Summary Statistics compares the state of biodiversity in selected regions and among selected species between 1996 and 2002. The site also contains an image library.